Bala Patur takes down the WPT LA Poker Classic, pockets $1 million
By Bob Garcia
The poker event was suspended last year because of COVID-19 and has finally run its course
The LA Poker Classic 2020 in Las Vegas was one of three major poker events to be delayed by 14 months, after initially starting at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. However, this did not cause Bala Patur’s hands to cool down and he took home a total prize pool of $1,015,000, beating out 489 other players in the prestigious $10,000 buy-in World Poker Tour (WPT) event.
At the time of its inception, it was expected that all plans would go well for the final table of six to be played in early April 2020 at the HyperX eSports Arena in Las Vegas. Still, as is well known, during that time, COVID-19 began to hit the world hard and casinos were forced to shut down their operations, causing events to have significant delays. WPT no longer wanted to delay events and did everything necessary to pick up where it left off, thus managing to rent out the PokerGO Studio on the Las Vegas Strip for three nights in a row this week for several final tables of various pending events to take place.
Many top players come together to showcase their skills at the LA Poker Classic. After some great action at the table that gradually disqualified the finalists, Patur began heads-up play against Matas Cimbolas, with a chip lead of about 1.5-1. He didn’t let that lead go away, causing Cimbolas to keep his back against the wall for the entirety of the match. Still, the final hand gave the eventual champion a lot to think about. The turn and river finally played into Patur’s hands and made Cimbolas second on the board, giving him $600,060.
“It’s unbelievable. I can’t express my happiness right now. For me, it was so long … and the table with such good players, it was anyone’s game and I played well and ran well,” Patur said in his post-game interview.